Babies: 9 - 12 Months

Would you let a 14yo babysit your LO?

DH came home tonight and said he was talking to his boss at lunch today and asked him if he could recommend any babysitters in our area, since his family is from around here and his sister still lives in our town. He says yes and then enthusiastically recommends his 14 year old niece. Says she has a lot of experience in babysitting and could give references.

My instant reaction was "Not a chance". Then I remembered that I babysat at 14 and sometimes that was two kids at once. Now, thinking back, I think that's madness. DH was surprised by my reaction and thought I was being silly. Either way, since I'm uncomfortable about it, we will not be hiring her.

Am I overreacting? Would you let a 14 year old with good references watch your LO? 

Re: Would you let a 14yo babysit your LO?

  • I babysat at 14, but not pre-walking-pre-talking infants. I'd let a 14 y.o. babysit a 2 y.o., or maybe even an 18 m.o., but I'd want at least a 16 y.o. for an infant. Just a maturity thing, kwim?

    And I think 2 toddler/school age children is different from an infant.

  • I was driving a car at 14, so I guess I was ok to take care of a LO.

    My niece is barely 15 and does a fine job with LO, but she's family and very used to her, plus she's a major responsible nerd.

    I think I'd have her over to help out while you were going to be home, judge your comfort level, and go from there.

  • I totally understand how you feel. I used to babysit at 12 or 13. At 13 I was babysitting very young kids, sometimes babies. Eventhough, I would never allow that now. That's just me.

  • I let a12 year old babysit my DS but her mom was there helping out
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  • I just did last weekend....BUT...her house and mom and dad are right next door, ds was asleep  for the night when we left and we were only 5 minutes away if we needed to come home. I told her to call me if he woke up and I would come home. We were gone for 3 hours and everything was fine.

    If the situation was much different than that, I am not sure how comfortable I would have been with the scenario.

  • Hm, I'm surprised so many people are okay with it.

    In our situation we would at least be a 30 minute drive away and probably out late. When I was 14 my curfew was 10pm. I can't imagine she can be out much later, not to mention that she can't drive if she needed to (although I suppose in emergency she'd call 999 and us before driving anywhere). I have no idea where her parents live but I know it's not across the street.

  • I would let my brother's 15 year old gf watch DD.  She's very responsible and has a toddler nephew she's watched often.  I haven't let her watch DD yet, but based on how she is around DD when I've been here I would definitely let her.  Most of my brother's friend I don't think are responsible enough.  Of course I know people in their 20s I wouldn't let watch DD.
  • DD's brothers are 13, and I would let them watch her for a short time.  They know her very well and take good care of her.
  • image exhausted_bride:

    I totally understand how you feel. I used to babysit at 12 or 13. At 13 I was babysitting very young kids, sometimes babies. Eventhough, I would never allow that now. That's just me.

    This exactly.

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  • I wouldn't.  When babysat at 14 I babysat kids that were much older.  I feel like the threshold is walking, talking, and potty trained.  Once you're past that point, it's not as much of an issue.  Infants and babies are just completely different.   
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  • I let my 14 year old sister babysit all the time.  She usually has one of our little brothers come along to help out (ages 12 and 9).
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